Issued by the Government Press Office
9th December 2020
Research highlights lack of consumer awareness of Brexit impacts on online shopping
- New research points to a lack of consumer awareness about the differences in buying from EU and non-EU websites
- Revenue Commissioners outline the different charging scenarios that will apply when buying from UK websites from January 1st
- CCPC warns consumers that their EU rights will no longer automatically apply post Brexit when purchasing from UK websites
The Revenue Commissioners and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) are today (Wednesday December 9th) advising online shoppers to be mindful of the impact of Brexit on purchases they make from UK websites from January 1st. The caution comes as new research shows a lack of awareness among consumers about differences in buying goods from EU and non-EU websites. The research, released by the CCPC, highlights that only 15% of consumers are aware that buying from non-EU websites may attract higher taxes and charges.
Online shoppers will need to be mindful that when buying from a UK based website next year they may incur additional costs, and that their current EU consumer rights will no longer automatically apply. At a media briefing today to raise awareness of the impact of Brexit on consumers, Ray Ryan from Revenue’s Customs Division said there are three charging scenarios that online shoppers should consider when buying from a UK website from January 1st:
“Firstly, online shoppers won’t face additional import charges when buying something for €22 (including shipping, delivery, insurance and handling charges) or less.
Secondly however, if the value of the goods (including shipping, delivery, insurance and handling charges) is more than €22, VAT is payable.
Thirdly consumers will have to pay Customs Duty and VAT if the value of the goods is more than €150 (excluding shipping, delivery, insurance and handling charges).”
Mr Ryan also explained that there are two models in place that cover payment of customs duty and VAT. “If the total price paid for the good or goods at time of purchase includes any Customs Duty and VAT due, no further import charges will arise on delivery.
“If this is not the case however, the carrier or postal service delivering goods bought online from outside the EU will complete the relevant custom formalities and the amount of VAT and duties will be calculated by Customs based on the information provided. The purchaser must pay these charges to the carrier or postal service before the goods are delivered.”
Head of Corporate & Stakeholder Communications with the CCPC, Doireann Sweeney, also explained that consumers’ existing EU rights would no longer automatically apply when buying from a UK website post Brexit. Ms Sweeney said it was important to check where the trader is located:
“EU Consumer Protection law gives Irish consumers the right to change their mind after they receive their purchases and other strong protections when buying online. At this point in time, these rights are also reflected in UK law, however from January consumers may find it difficult to enforce these rights in disputes with UK retailers.
Ms Sweeney said their research pointed to a need for consumers to check out the terms and conditions on the website they are buying from “Our research shows that while numbers shopping online from the UK are falling, only 1 in 10 consumers plan to pay more attention to where a website is based after Brexit.”
For more information visit:
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
Carr Communications 01 772 8900
Leenn O’Kelly 087 8209968
Note to Editors:
All goods imported from a non-EU country, this will include the UK (excl NI) from January 1st, are subject to customs formalities and are assessed for Customs Duty and VAT. Depending on the type of goods and their value, they may be subject to charges, including customs duties, VAT and excise duties. Excise Duty is payable on alcohol and tobacco products and is separate from Customs Duty.
The general rules and associated values are:
- No additional charges when buying something for €22 or less
From January 1st consumers will pay neither Customs Duty nor VAT if the value of goods (including shipping, delivery, insurance and handling charges) is €22 or less;
From July 1st however, consumers will have to pay VAT on all items, irrespective of the value as changes in EU VAT rules around e-Commerce will come into force then.
- VAT is payable when buying something for more than €22
Co Consumers will have to pay VAT if the value of goods (including shipping, delivery, insurance and handling charges) is more than €22;
- Customs and VAT are payable when buying something for more than €150
Consumers will have to pay Customs Duty and VAT if the value of goods (excluding shipping, delivery, insurance and handling charges) is more than €150